The driving mechanisms behind monsoons are not yet well understood; thus a monsoon experiment (called Monex) was incorporated into the Global Atmospheric Research Program (Garp). Monex will have three components, all conducted in connection with the First Garp Global Experiment (FGGE) in 1979. FGGE will provide the basic observing system for Monex, but additional platforms and stations will supplement the FGGE network in the Monex experiment area that extends from 30°N to 20°S and from 35° to 150°E.
The winter component of Monex will focus on the South China Sea and adjacent island and coastal areas, where a vast area of convective activity and rainfall periodically floods waterways. Beginning in December 1978, this effort will last through the First FGGE Special Observing Period (SOP I) from January 5 to March 5, 1979. FGGE dropwindsondes will be used to measure equatorial winds, and other studies will examine the inversion layer and the low-level jet over the west Arabian Sea.